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What knowledge is required to become an actor?

I am a 9th grader and enjoy watching movies.

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Subject: Career question for you

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Sarah’s Answer

I am not an actor professionally but have had some amazing experiences in amateur dramatics, voiceover work (for the BBC) and various acting projects. Even if you don't do this professionally, there are huge benefits that can be really positive in your life - from making friends, improving your public speaking skills and confidence to name just two.

Some of the skills you will need as an actor include being able to remember lines and prompts, being comfortable performing in front of audiences, being a team player (you will rely on others to feed you lines, move at the right time and they will expect the same from you), and ultimately, you need to be able to read text and translate that into a character.

My biggest recommendation is try to find a way to get involved with drama and practice. Is there some kind of club or society in your school or locally that you can join to try out various acting projects and find other people who share your interest? You could also practise reading characters from plays, copying from your favorite movies and asking your friends or family for feedback.

You may also want to explore what type of roles you prefer - gritty realism, comedy, film acting or live on stage acting. Do you, for example, enjoy things like singing or dance?

Regardless, have fun and be brave. I certainly think you would get a lot from pursuing your interest.
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Keith’s Answer

To be an actor, it takes inate talent and training. The ability to convey a character and embody what it takes to portray someone or some thing else takes an inate desire to perform. Not everyone is wired the same. Natural gifts make success at anything you chose easier. The same is true with acting.

Once you determine you are intrinsically motivated and have a natural talent or gift, that is only good enough to get one foot in the door. Like any profession, proficiency comes with practice and training. You must train in various tactics, techniques and industry standard practices to be able to know whether at that point, this will be a career or perhaps a hobby done in conjunction with your primary job, which is what I have done for over 20 years.

Good luck to you regardless and "break a leg" as they say in show business!